Monthly Archives

June 2013

Recycle

Repaired better than new

By | DIY | No Comments

Last Saturday I was in a place called “Reparat millor que nou” (Repaired better than new), an initiative from Barcelona city.

Wen you think about Maker movement you always think about creating, starting from new objects or reusing others.

Recycle

But there is a very important part of the cycle (REduce, REcycle, REuse, REpair) that includes repair, and better than this, do preventive maintenance. And as committed makers we also have the responsibility to put this into practice

You can do these two activities, and others, in the “Reparat millor que nou” place:

  • Preventive maintenance. Many workshops are organized to teach it
  • Creative workshops. Knitting, wood work, etc…ideal for makers…
  • Repairs. You have to Do It Yourself but with support and advice from specialists. You need to buy the spare parts yourself, but you get advice on where to go.

As of now I only have been once, in a workshop about white goods maintenance.

I was surprised by the amount of things that I learnt, and the amount of things that I do on a day-to-day basis  and that impact my fridge, washing machine and microwave lifespan.

Next step, to go one day to repair something.

REally glad that this initiative was setup in Barcelona 🙂

PS: as an interesting note, I asked the receptionist if they had ever used a 3d printer for repairs and the term was completely unknown.

PCB_sketchup

From 2d image to 3d

By | 3D Printing | No Comments

Last Saturday afternoon I was hacking again with my printer, exploring the concept of transforming a 2d image in to 3d relief.

First I spent the morning at Workos, an Openspace session in Vilanova where we of course spoke about 3d printers, and some other interesting topics such as Arduino, open hardware, design thinking, big data, etc…I wanted to be everywhere!

And I was there with my 3d printer next to my friends of BuildRepRap. [Update March 2017: it does not exist anymore].

3d printing corner

My printer, to the right hand side.

In the afternoon I started playing with the idea of obtaining a relief from a 2d image.

I did the test with an Arduino PCB that Christian shared with me.

Arduino_Pro_Mini

The initial PNG

Afterwards I found out that the object was too small for the printer resolution, but it was good to learn the process and try 😉
In the meantime I learnt several things. For instance to play with Gimp – I use but seldom- to clean up the image, reverse colors, etc.

Arduino_Pro_Mini_clean

The circuit, after Gimp clean up

I then used inkscape to transform the image into SVG vectorial format, readable by Blender.

After importing into Blender I then did an extrusion of the image. Et volià!, we already have a 3d model.

As i only had the PCb circuits in the model I imported it in Sketchup to add a platform below.

I used Sketchup because I do not know how to use Blender. I hope that with the Introduction to Blender event on Monday in our group, plus the workshop next week I will have enough knowledge to use the tool 🙂

And after all the process I got this:

PCB_sketchup

 

The printing, as you can see is poor. I am convinced we can improve it but not sure if we can improve it to the point of actually matching the PCB details resolution needs.

 

PCB printed

 

One tip, I followed this video to complete the whole process described.

 

And if you want me to generate or 3dprint a relief from an image, a logo, a shield, badge or any other thing that is usually in 2d…you know where to find me.

By the way, on Saturday I tried OpenSCAD and I loved it, ideal for software developers as it runs scripts instead of free hand design. But this is for another post 😉

Barcelona Startup Weekend

Barcelona Startup Weekend 2013

By | Events, Startup | No Comments

The weekend of June 1st & 2th I joined Barcelona Startup Weekend.

Disclaimer: this post is going to be long, just because it has been sitting in my ToDo list for some days now, and I guess I had enough time to digest the experience, so more content!

All participants met on Friday. 60 seconds to pitch your idea, and then eight teams of 7-8 people are built by votes and affinity.

Around 60 participants, and among all we pitched more than 30 ideas. Amazing!

So we did not have much time for networking this day.

My idea had some votes, but it wasn’t enough attractive to be in the first eight. In fact I have myself doubts about its feasibility for some parts, and if I am not even convinced myself where am I going with this? Americans have the phrase “Eat your own dog food”, which matches exactly this in the startup world. Do not design something you will not be willing to pay for nor use yourself.

So I decided for the concept Camping & Breakfast, a sustainable initiative to free up unused land so that free campers can use it. During the weekend we evolved it to camp&break.

Working

The next day, hands on. You get a copy of the Canvas and a bit more documentation and you have two days to work the idea. At some point you have mentors visiting around the tables giving advice or even helping to reorient the idea.

Our group had a high variety of profiles: architect, designer, communication, marketing, biology entrepreneur, engineer, developer and myself but I often don’t know how to define myself. More business management than any other thing for this event, but I am passionate about the techie topics…

The engineer was not feeling good and we lost her on Saturday afternoon. Never came back. In addition to working, we also had some networking moments, for instance Joan and I went to have a drink with the organizers at the end of Saturday. And everybody had the opportunity to speak with people from other groups sooner or later. Well, and on Sunday after prices were communicated we all went to have a drink.

Barcelona Startup Weekend

The experience was new to me. I had spent full weekends doing mountain activity, with bivouacs and stuff like this, and the last weekend fully dedicated to something was back in April when I built my own 3d printer in a workshop organized by RepRapBCN (if you can afford it, very recommended!!).

This one had in addition a play component but also some work aspect. But frankly speaking, I recommend it strongly. I enjoyed the experience of working in a diverse group with different points of view, to see the importance of design and communication to present an idea, when i am usually focused in a more spartan view of the concept.

But people want experiencies, not just functionality. It will be a challenge the moment we define a MVP, as for me it is just enough that it does the minimum that it has to deliver while the design/marketing oriented people will want it that it has a minimum of attractiveness. I am fully convinced that I will learn something in this route 🙂

During the weekend we quite modified the concept. Initially we wanted to get money for providing a quality badge or label to the land owners, and then we moved to a more similar concept to airbnb where we granted a minimum quality standard by unique views for instance, also through the badge, but away form taking this as the main source of income and looking at badges as the platform quality gatekeeper. We will have to follow working on the concept and review the badge concept as it seems to me low scalable.

We made a 5 years plan, not needed but we made it, to experience ho easy it is to change and forecast figures until making a profitable plan.

 

CabiedesCAC y LTV

In fact Luis M. Cabiedes made a speech on Sunday where he explained something already known, that investors completely ignore financial plans just because it is really easy to modify them and are usually away of startup reality which is absolutely changing.

The most important: CAC LTV, or in other words that the business model is good.

 

On Sunday after some stressful moment finishing up the presentation against the countdown, we made the presentations round. We were the last ones! It seems worse than better as you see how well other presentations are and you get more nervous. But nothing we can do about it.

Sandra made an excellent!!! And Pati rounded it with the Q&As.

The main doubt among the jury was the legal framework, and in fact this is the first thing to address as we did not have anything validated at that moment.

And finally, after the jury discussion, we were winners!!

I just was astonished for winning, taking into account that you usually tend to look at your project weal points than in how it excels compared to others. But the truth is that the presentation was wonderful and the idea is innovative. And as a mountaineer, I was captivated from the beginning.

After this and the flush of success, we will have a first meeting to decide what we do. Generally there is intention to carry on.
Not sure if the seven or less, we’ll see next week.

Anyway, although there were some basic logistic mistakes from organization, the process and the experience is worth doing it. It is a very good learning experience and in addition it lets you know many people with interest in the same topics. You will not learn theory about startups, and nothing related to lean startup, this has to be already part of your grounding or absorb as much as you can from your colleagues.

And I recommend it!

El equipo

Cheers to my team friends: SandraMarioPatiMariajoJoan y Aina. Good team!